Eight crew members from a Norwegian-owned bulk carrier vessel have been brought ashore in Stornoway, after their ship ran aground in stormy seas in the early hours of this morning (Monday 23 March).
The Russian crew were aboard the MV Kaami, a 90-metre long general cargo ship which was passing through the Minch on her way to the port of Slite in Sweden.
Her crew called for help from Stornoway Coastguard operations room after running aground by the cardinal buoy at the Eugenie rocks (Sgeir Graidach), north-west of Fladdah Dhauin and east of the Isle of Harris at around 1.50am today.
The crew were lifted from the vessel by Stornoway Coastguard helicopter R948 and brought to Stornoway, where they were passed into the care of the Fishermen’s Mission.
The Northern Lighthouse Board vessel Pharos and Portree RNLI lifeboat also stood by during the difficult rescue operation in stormy winds and high seas.
The un-manned vessel is still fast on the rocks mid-Minch, with the Coastguard tug Ievoli Black standing by. A pollution aircraft has overflown the site and reported no visible pollution. The aircraft also gathered visual data on the vessel’s structure, position and condition to help plan future salvage once the weather has improved.
Crewmen are now being accommodated at a Stornoway hotel, supported by Stornoway Shipping Services.